How to get your real estate offer accepted
Because I mainly work with buyers and am an exclusive buyer’s agent for Portland real estate, I know what it takes to get an offer accepted by sellers. Our market is slowly turning in sellers favor and several homes are being snatched up within days of being listed. So how can a buyer, especially a first-time home buyer, submit an offer that will not only get looked at, but accept it?
Be ready to buy.
While this may seem obvious, many buyers do not conduct the steps needed in preparation for purchasing a property before looking at homes. Looking at homes and touring properties for sale is about the third or fourth step a buyer should take. The first step should be finances. If you are applying for a home loan and need to take out a mortgage to purchase a property, be sure to have this completely set up and ready to go before looking at homes. Sit down with the lender, discuss your finances, and apply for a home loan, even if you don’t know how much the home is that you’re going to purchase yet. A lender will determine how much you can afford by factoring in your income, debts, assets and liabilities. They will offer you a price range and/or a maximum amount of home you can purchase. Once you know how much your budget can comfortably maintain in a monthly payment, it narrows down the search dramatically.
You also must be prepared financially with a letter of preapproval. This letter, issued by your lender, states that you have already done the financial homework needed to purchase a property. This letter can be just a blanket statement of financial approval or it can be tailored for exactly how much you are offering. Sellers know that they won’t have to deal with a lot of financial hiccups down the line sense of this vital step has already been completed.
You must also have funds set aside for out-of-pocket expenses such as appraisal costs, inspection costs, and earnest money deposit. The more earnest money deposit you put down, the more sellers feel you are serious about their property. A typical earnest money deposit is 1 to 3% of the purchase price but many earnest money deposits can be accepted for less than $1000. You will also need out-of-pocket funds for an inspection which can range anywhere from $250 to about $800. This will need to be paid directly to the inspector.
Make sure you have minimal contingencies on purchasing the property. If you’re putting too many requirements on the purchase, sellers may be hesitant to accept your offer. If you must sell another home before buying, need financial acceptance, or any other type of addendum or contingency, sellers may be hesitant to go forward. Making it as easy as possible for sellers to accept your offer is really the best option.
Write a letter to the sellers. You may simply sit down and write a casual, friendly letter to the seller stating why you love the home and why they should accept your offer. Many times sellers love to hear how others view their home especially if they're apprehensive about new owners.
I want my buyers to be as prepared as possible so they get the home they love at a price that works for their budget. Give me a call today and let’s get started on this process for any Portland real estate.